Friday, April 29, 2011
Inspiration. Where does it come from?
My sudden interest in the subject of inspiration comes because for two weeks I had been totally uninspired. Not only was I uninspired, the truth is, I was stuck. I had been going over the same pages for two weeks. Every day I didn’t write I felt more pressure. The book I am currently working on is supposed to be coming out at the end of the year, pushed up from March 2012. I still had plenty of time, but I wondered if I would miss my deadline.
I am one of those writers who doesn’t discuss his work. My friends and family usually have no idea what I am working on. My friend, G, and my reader are the only people who know at any given time what I am doing.
Last Monday morning I was playing tennis with my friend, Franklyn Ajaye. Not only is Franklyn a good friend and tennis player, he is a very funny man. He is a stand up comic who has toured the world. Remember that famous seventies film Car Wash? Franklyn was the star of that film. He had a big ole Afro back then, ha,ha. This is Franklyn today:
Monday morning, as my time on the tennis court was coming to an end, I could feel a sense of dread coming over me. I was dreading going back home to my office to work on the same pages I’d been staring at for two weeks. That’s when I did something I don’t normally do. I said: “Hey man, I’ve been having a problem with something and I’d like to run it by you. Do you mind?”
I know Franklyn pretty well. I am certain he has no interest in YA paranormal romance. Yet he listened as though he was interested as I told him where I had been stuck, and how I thought I’d get out of it. He listened quietly. He told me he thought my solution to the problem was sound. And then he told me about his god daughter, whom he had been giving tennis lessons. He said he could see the same kind of self esteem issue my character was having in her.
I thanked him, went home and started re-outlining the rest of the book. I worked for two days on a new outline and have been churning out pages ever since. I keep coming up with new and exciting ideas to push the story along. I was behind schedule. Now, I am ahead of schedule. Most of what I have been working on has little to do with that conversation in the parking lot last Monday morning. And yet, since then I have been on fire. I’m not sure what triggered the inspiration. I think all it was was having someone to tell me my idea was okay. Sometimes that’s all we need to get ourselves going—a little validation. Thanks Franklyn.
If you’d like to check out some of his stand up, click on his name here: Franklyn Ajaye.